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Noise Initiative - a letter from our chairman

Solent Advanced Motorcyclists

C/o Sarisbury Green Community Centre

108 Bridge Rd,

Sarisbury Green,

Southampton,

Hampshire

SO31 7EP

 

31 May 2015

Dear Member/Associate,

 

A32/A272 Meon Valley Noise Initiative

 

Did you ever take the baffles out of the exhaust of your bike just to get a feel for the different noise it makes? I did.

 

My first bike was an NSU Quickly, which was given to me. The year was 1970 and the bike was made in 1957. The problem was that the exhaust was rotten so I took it off! What a sound!! I didn’t know that a 50cc engine could make such a wonderful noise. The trouble was that our neighbours didn’t agree and, with half an hour, three had complained. Since the NSU didn’t have a key, my Dad took the spark plug out so that I couldn’t start it.

 

Moving to 2015 the residents that live on or near the A32 and the A272 are complaining about the same problem. During the summer months, especially, when the weather is warm and they would like to have their windows open or be sat in their gardens they are being subjected to a fairly constant stream of motorcycle exhaust noise, some of which is probably excessive/illegal. I confess I do have some sympathy. I recently sat outside the Angel Hotel with a, very, crude noise meter on my phone and measured 117dB which is on the verge of damaging hearing.

 

So why am I telling you this?

 

Well, Solent has been approached by Hampshire Police to see if we help with the problem. It seems that they have very limited powers when it comes to noise. Apparently they only have one noise meter and it can only be used in very specific circumstances. In reality, only if a bike is fitted with an exhaust that is not approved for road use, are they able to take action. So the Police are "wedged" between the residents and the biker community. They believe that education is probably the best approach and with that, I do agree.

 

So what am I asking?

 

Firstly please can I make it very clear – I am not "telling" anybody to do anything. Solent AM is not the Police and we are certainly not the "Fun Police" either. All I can do is ask for your help!

 

By their very nature motorcycles are noisy machines. Even if you have a new machine, completely unmodified, it can still make quite a racket. If you have a bike with a modified exhaust which, of course is entirely your choice, it can make a whole lot more. To me it seems that there has to be some compromise on both sides. The residents in the Meon Valley have a right to enjoy their homes and we, as bikers, have a right to enjoy the roads.

 

What I am asking is that we all do our best to reduce the noise our bikes make in the villages on the A32 & A272.

Things that may help are:

 

Reduced revs /Higher Gear – "relaxing" the engine also burns less fuel

Smooth transition to/from the national /50 speed limits

Observing the speed limits

Consider fitting the standard exhaust if you have a modified one fitted

Please do you best to be: Seen but not heard

 

I would like the Membership of Solent AM to be considered by all as community spirited, mindful of those we interact with and always conscious of safety.

 

Thank you all in anticipation of your assistance in this

 

Yours faithfully

 

Pete Curtis

 

Pete Curtis

Chairman – Solent Advanced Motorcyclists

 

P.S – The NSU Quickly? – My mate’s dad had a plug spanner!!

P.P.S – My dad cut the HT lead!!!

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